It's becoming far less common and practical.
The cost of bringing everything in and out of jackfields is high, and requires a lot of space.
It is much easier to rely on a matrix, which allows flexibility, and also replaces distribution amplifiers, plus can be remotely controlled.
Yes - particularly in OB trucks.
In some studios you will often still find mixer inputs for core sources (cameras, dedicated outside sources, EVS replay etc.) hardwired and not going via a router - for resilience purposes. The mixer will then have 'Assign lines' which are router destinations (sometimes fed via synchronisers if the sources are likely to be non-sync) for getting other ad hoc sources present on the router onto the mixer.
That surprises me re cameras, I would have thought it would be switchable/patchable so that "camera 4" could be fed from any wallbox rather then hard wired.
That is indeed the case - and hardwiring a camera channel to a vision mixer doesn't cause any change to that.
This is because camera cable patching happens upstream of the CCU - the Camera Control Unit (aka the Base Station) - of the camera, and the connection of the CCU to the mixer is thus downstream of any camera cable patching.
Studio and OB cameras aren't wired directly to vision mixers by the cable plugged into the back of the camera. Broadcast cameras used on studios and OBs in general don't use HD-SDI outputs. The triax or fibre camera cable from the back of the camera is patched to a CCU, and the output of that CCU is then fed to the vision mixer and/or router. The CCU remains fixed and can be hardwired to the vision mixer - CCU 1's output is 'Camera 1' however the camera is cabled to it. The triax or fibre cable routes feeding the camera head to the CCU can be varied and manually replugged as required.
You can have lots of different cable routes to connect a camera head to a CCU - via wallboxes, multiple cable drops etc. but camera 1's output will be from camera 1's CCU, and it is the CCU output that is hardwired to the vision mixer.
For example so that when the One Show wheel a camera or two outside and plug them into the exterior wallbox they appear as the same source at the mixer.
Yes - that happens because Camera 1 is still connected to the same CCU, just by different cable routes. The CCU for camera 1 can still be hardwired to the same vision mixer input in this scenario.
When a camera moves from one wallbox, or cable drop, to another in a studio or on an OB all that needs to happen is that the camera is connected to a new cable or route at the camera head, and the other end of that cable or route is plugged into the same CCU at the other end (either on the OB truck tailboard or on a triax/fibre patch panel feeding CCUs).
This patch panel will allow you to chose which wallbox connection is connected to which camera's CCU at any given time, as this camera patching happens upstream of the CCUs - it is also upstream of any router or hard wiring and has no impact on whether a CCU output is fed to the mixer via a router or directly, bypassing the router.
Camera 1's CCU output is Camera 1 on the mixer however the fibre or triax patching between the camera head and Camera 1 CCU happens.
Last edited by noggin on 2 December 2018 7:24pm - 3 times in total
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